Science & activism – The role of environmental movements in transformations to sustainability


This is both an open invitation and a call for papers for a researcher and PhD seminar on Science & Activism, held at the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu 29-30(31) January 2019.  

UPDATE: the presentations of the seminar are collected here

Aim of the event is to share ideas and discuss the role of activism, in its various forms, in transformation towards sustainability. Our perspective to activism is broad. Within the context of sustainability transition, we invite papers which approach the challenges and benefits of combining activism and science, the role of environmental movements, citizen engagement in policy processes and scientific research, co-production of knowledge, analyses of the driving forces behind resistance and conflicts (e.g. environmental justice issues) etc.   

Organizers: LYY Institute & CORE project & ALL-YOUTH project

Venue: University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Natura Building, Room N113

On the first seminar day we will hear participant presentations after a thematic plenary:  

A key note by Maija Faehnle (CORE -project): Solving complex problems togehter – activism as challenge and opportunity for collaborative governance.  

On the second day we will continue with the participant presentations but also enjoy plenaries given by our invited guest speakers from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona:

A keynote by Mariana Walter: A perspective on radical transformations to sustainability: resistances, movements and alternatives 

A keynote by Marta Conde: Counter-expertise and co-production of knowledge: interface between science and activism

We will finalize the seminar by round table discussions with World Café methodology organized by the ALL-YOUTH project. World Café methodology will be used to facilitate the discussion on youth participation in activism related to environmental conflicts.

We welcome presentations from various disciplines and multiple scales, from global analyses to local case studies. We invite you to one or both days by just taking part or by presenting your research related to the themes described above.   

You are also welcome to join the open lectures given by our guests from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a trip to Koli national park on Thursday (see the programme and titles of the lectures below).  

About practicalities:  

If interested in presenting, please submit your abstract (max. 250 words. Include a title, name and affiliation of the presenter) to LYY coordinator Outi Ratamäki (at outi.ratamaki(at) by 15 December 2018 the latest. Call for papers is open for all researchers and PhD students.    

Deadline for registering to the event is 15 January 2019. You should register here:

Seminar is free of charge and open for all. 

On Tuesday evening we will have dinner at a local restaurant; everyone is welcome to join but should cover their own expenses. Travel costs of the shared ride to Koli will be covered. Preliminary programme for the Koli trip can be found in the registration form. About Koli: 

Further information from: outi.ratamaki(at) 



Tue 29 January: 1st day of the seminar 

12.15-12.30 Welcoming words: prof. Rauno Sairinen, scientific leader of the LYY Institute 

12.30-13.30 A keynote: Solving complex problems together – activism as challenge and opportunity for collaborative governance: Maija Faehnle 

13.30-14.30 Seminar presentations (approximately 30 minutes each) 

14.30-14.45 Coffee break 

14.45-16.15 Seminar presentations  

16.15-16.30 General discussion 


Wed 30 January: 2nd seminar day  

10.15-10.30 Welcoming words: LYY co-ordinator Outi Ratamäki  

10.30-11.30 A key note: A perspective on radical transformations to sustainability: resistances, movements and alternatives: Mariana Walter  

11.30-12.30 A key note: Counter-expertise and co-production of knowledge: interface between science and activism: Marta Conde  

12.30-13.30 Lunch  

13.30-14.30 Presentations 

14.30-14.45 A coffee break 

14.45-16.45  World Café by ALL-YOUTH

16.45-17.00  Closing of the seminar

Additional programme:  

Thu 31 January: Open lectures on the Mining, environment and society -course: 

9.15-10.15 Mariana Walter: The Environmental Justice Atlas. A tool for activism and research. 

10.15-11.00 Marta Conde: Resistance to mining 

11.15-12.00 Lunch  

12.15- 18.30 A trip to Koli  


Invited guests’ biographies: 

PhD Maija Faehnle is senior researcher in the Programme for Sustainable Urbanisation at Finnish Environment Institute SYKE. She has worked at the interface between science and practice in the context of the changing civil society and collaboration for sustainability. Currently she coordinates communication and societal interaction of two research consortiums, one of which is the CORE project (SRC, Academy of Finland) that studies new collaborative governance practices for solving contested societal challenges such as energy transition. Her research has addressed urban civic activism as resource for cities in the digital age, integration of ecological and experimental knowledge in planning, and multicultural aspects of collaborative practices. In her PhD on Regional Science, she developed methods for design and evaluation of collaborative urban planning. Her research interests include collaborative governance, collaborative economy, action research, self-organisation and citizen energy. 

PhD Mariana Walter is a postdoctoral researcher at ICTA-UAB.  Walter’s research addresses extractive conflicts (mainly in Latin America), social metabolism, expert-lay knowledge interplay, social transformations and scales. She holds a Masters diploma in Environmental Studies (focusing on Ecological Economics) and has participated in research projects in Argentina (UNGS) and Europe (ALARM, CEECEC, ENGOV). Currently she is the scientific coordinator of the ACKnowl-EJ Project (Academic-Activist Co-Produced Knowledge for Environmental Justice. a 3 year international project funded by the ISSC. She has published her work in books and journals such as Global Environmental Change, Ecological Economics, Geoforum, Land Use Policy and Local Environment. 

ICTA-UAB: The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) is a multidisciplinary centre that promotes academic research and postgraduate education in the environmental sciences. It aims to improve our understanding of global environmental change, and the nature and causes of environmental problems. In addition, it studies policies, strategies and technologies to foster a transition to a sustainable economy.  

ICTA hosts the Environmental Justice Atlas (EJ Atlas). The main leaders involved are Leah Temper, Joan Martinez Alier and Daniela Del Bene. The EJ Atlas documents and catalogues social conflict around environmental issues. The EJ Atlas collects these stories of communities struggling for environmental justice from around the world. It is supported by the ENVJUST project (ERC Advanced Grant 2016-2021), and the ACKnowl-EJ (Academic-Activist Co-Production of Knowledge for Environmental Justice, 2015-2018) funded by the Transformations to Sustainability Programme. 

A post-graduate Research Associate Marta Conde at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Associate Researcher in UAB. Conde holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering (UPC), masters in Environmental Science (Birkbeck College, London) and Ecological Economics (UAB). Her research looks at social reactions to the expansion of extractive industries at the commodity frontiers. The ‘extractive conflicts’ endured by developing countries are caused by the ’cost shifting successes’ of material and energy consumption in developed economies. Using political ecology, ecological economics and political economy she analyses the drivers, strategies and discourses of resistance movements to mining. She is particularly interested in uranium mining conflicts and the socio-economic and health implications of nuclear and uranium expansion. 

Her latest research explores one of the strategies used by resistance movements in socio-environmental conflicts; the alliance between science and activism.  Drawing from political ecology and STS, Conde proposes that scientific and local knowledge co-production can empower and give visibility to local groups and activists.  Conde links her research with the fields of degrowth and environmental justice, showing how these groups are contesting successfully the imperative of endless economic growth. 

UAB: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona,    


The Institute for Natural Resources, Environment and Society (LYY) is a network organization based at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF).  Our network combines social and cultural research expertise for application in the analysis of the environment and natural resource uses. 

The project Collaborative remedies for fragmented societies – facilitating the collaborative turn in environmental decision-making (CORE) is funded by Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland. CORE studies and develops collaborative action in environmental planning and decision-making.  





Paikallisten toimijoiden vaikuttamismahdollisuudet malminetsintä- ja kaivoshankkeissa


Mikä on kunnan rooli malminetsintä- ja kaivoshankkeissa? Miten kansalaiset, maanomistajat, yritykset ja muut paikalliset toimijat voivat vaikuttaa? Miten kaivosalan tutkijat voisivat palvella eri toimijoiden tietotarpeita ja näkökulmien yhteensovittamista kaivoskysymyksissä? Tervetuloa yleisötilaisuuksiin oppimaan uutta ja keskustelemaan!

Aika ja paikka: Leppävirta ke 21.11.2018 klo 18.00-20.00, Kunnanvaltuuston istuntosali, os. Savonkatu 39

Aika ja paikka: Heinävesi ke 7.11.2018 klo 18.00-20.00

Yleisötilaisuudet sisältävät esityksen paikallisten toimijoiden (kansalaiset, maanomistajat, kunta, yritykset, osakaskunnat ym.) suhteista malminetsintään ja kaivostoimintaan lakisääteisiin menettelyihin osallistumisen näkökulmasta. Tavoitteena on jäsentää paikallisten toimijoiden vaikuttamismahdollisuuksia malminetsintä- ja kaivoshankkeissa. Tilaisuudessa keskustellaan siitä, miten ja missä yhteydessä paikalliset voivat saada tietoa etsintä- ja kaivoshankkeista ja osallistua merkityksellisellä tavalla menettelyihin.

Kumpakin yleisötilaisuutta edeltää päättäjille suunnattu koulutustilaisuus, jossa tarkastellaan erityisesti kunnan roolia malminetsintä- ja kaivoshankkeiden suunnittelu- ja luvituskokonaisuudessa sekä kaivannaisalan toimintojen paikallisessa hallinnassa. Tavoitteena on myös selventää kunnan mahdollisuutta käyttää kaavoitusta kestävän kaivostoiminnan ohjausvälineenä.

Tilaisuuksissa on varattu aikaa keskustelulle, kysymyksille ja kommenteille. 

Kysymyksiä voi lähettää myös ennakkoon kouluttaja Ismo Pölöselle ( Kysymyksiä ja ehdotuksia voi mieluusti esittää myös jatkotoimista ja -yhteistyöstä. Miten kaivosalan tutkijat voisivat palvella eri toimijoiden tietotarpeita ja näkökulmien yhteensovittamista kaivoskysymyksissä?

Tilaisuudet on tarkoitettu ensisijaisesti Heinäveden ja Leppäveden kuntapäättäjille ja jäsenille, mutta mukaan mahtuu rajoitetusti myös muita osallistujia. Jos olet kiinnostunut osallistumaan, ota yhteyttä Ismo Pölöseen. Häneltä voit myös kysyä lisätietoja tilaisuuksista.

Kouluttaja, ympäristöoikeuden professori Ismo Pölönen (Itä-Suomen yliopisto, oikeustieteiden laitos) on keskittynyt viimeaikaisessa tutkimuksessaan erityisesti ympäristövaikutusten arviointiin sekä kaivos- ja kaavoitusoikeuteen. Hän on toiminut useissa lainvalmistelua ja säädösten käytännön soveltamista palvelevissa asiantuntijatehtävissä sekä ympäristö- ja luonnonvara-aloilla työskentelevien kouluttajana. Pölönen johtaa parhaillaan STN-CORE-tutkimuskonsortion oikeudellista osahanketta, jossa tutkitaan yhteistoiminnallisen ympäristösuunnittelun- ja päätöksenteon oikeudellisia edellytyksiä.

Valikoituja julkaisuja:   

Pölönen, I. & Perho J. YVA-oikeus. Uudistunut ympäristövaikutusten arviointimenettely. Edita. Keuruu 2018.

Pölönen, I. Kaivokset kaavoissa. Kunnan harkintavalta yleiskaavoituksessa kaivostoiminnan ohjauksen näkökulmasta. Oikeus 1/2016, p. 70–91. 

Pölönen, I. Ympäristönäkökohtien ja paikallisten toimijoiden asema kaivoslain mukaisessa lupaharkinnassa. Lakimies 3/2013, p. 414–435.

Pölönen, I. Paikallisten osallistumisoikeudet malminetsintä- ja kaivoslupavaiheissa – Uuden kaivoslain arviointia .Ympäristöjuridiikka 2/2012, p. 70–105. 


Uusia työkaluja ympäristösovitteluun ja luonnonvarahallintaan


Kansainväliset opiskelijat hakivat tietoa ja käytännön kokemusta ympäristökonfliktien sovittelusta pohjoismaisen NOVA-yliopistoverkoston kurssilta.

– Meillä on paljon haasteita ympäristöpolitiikassa ja luonnonvarojen hallinnassa. Maa- ja metsätalouden on sopeuduttava ilmastonmuutokseen, ja myös sen vuoksi tarvitsemme uusia ympäristösovittelun työkaluja, osallistamisen menetelmiä ja vaikutuskeinoja, kertoo tohtoriopiskelija Estêvão Chambule kotimaansa Mosambikin tilanteesta.

Eduardo Mondlanen yliopistossa metsäteknologiaa opiskeleva Chambule haki uutta tietoa ja käytännön kokemusta ympäristöyhteistyöstä ja -sovittelusta pohjoismaisen NOVA-yliopistoverkoston kurssilta, joka pidettiin Itä-Suomen yliopiston Joensuun kampuksella 20.–24. elokuuta. Environmental collaboration and conflict resolution: The Crossroads of Forestry, Ecosystem Services and Wildlife -kurssin järjesti Itä-Suomen yliopisto yhteistyössä ALL-YOUTH- ja CORE-tutkimushankkeiden kanssa. Kurssille osallistui kolmisenkymmentä metsä- ja ympäristöalan perus- ja jatko-opiskelijaa 17 eri maasta.

NOVA-kurssin opiskelijat tulevat monenlaisista taustoista ja eri oppiaineista eri puolilta maailmaa. Tämä tuo haasteensa myös opettajille.

Kurssin opettajista professori Mara Hernández Meksikon CIDE-yliopistosta näkee vertaisoppimisen tärkeänä tapana jakaa tietoa ja käytännön kokemuksia ympäristösovittelusta moninaisen opiskelijaryhmän kesken. Olennaista on myös oppia yhdistämään teoriaa ja metodologisia tutkimusvälineitä todellisiin konfliktitilanteisiin.

Hernándezin mukaan merkittävät ympäristökonfliktit eri puolilla maailmaa liittyvät usein alueellisten ja paikallisten luonnonvarojen hyödyntämiseen kuten esimerkiksi öljyvaroihin Nigeriassa. Alueellisista haasteista ja konfliktien paikallisuudesta huolimatta sovittelukeinot voivat olla yhteisiä.

Lue koko artikkeli Itä-Suomen yliopiston sivulta!

New tools for environmental conflict resolution


In August 2018, a course on environmental collaboration and conflict resolution brought together 28 participants from 17 different countries at the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu Campus. The course provided the participants with theory and practical skills in environmental collaboration and conflict resolution. 

One of the international teachers of the course, Professor Mara Hernández from the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE, Mexico), finds that peer leaning is an important way of exchanging knowledge and practical experiences of environmental conflict mediation within the diverse group of students. Moreover, it is essential to learn to integrate theory and methodological tools into real conflict situations.

According to Professor Hernández, major environmental conflicts all over the world are often related to the use of regional and local natural resources, such as oil resources in Nigeria, mining in Latin America or access to clean water worldwide.  Although challenges may be regional and conflicts local, similar tools to analyse the context and dynamics of conflict may apply, as well as certain attitudes and behaviours that favour understanding and integrating the diversity of needs and perspectives at play.

The course, entitled Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution: The Crossroads of Forestry, Ecosystem Services and Wildlife, was organised by the School of Forest Sciences of the University of Eastern Finland in collaboration with the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies as well as the ALL-YOUTH and CORE research projects.

Read the whole article at the University of Eastern Finland website.

COREvents #2: Using collaborative knowledge practices in environmental planning and decision-making


How is trust in expertise generated and lost in environmental policy? How to overcome challenges in democratising environmental expertise? Why is joint fact-finding useful in complex planning and decision-making processes and how to apply it in practice?

The second COREvent explores the potential of inclusive knowledge practices to bridge the gap between science and environmental policy making and create a shared knowledge base that different actors consider relevant and reliable.

Three leading scholars, Prof. Susan Owens (Cambridge University, UK), Prof. Esther Turnhout (Wageningen University, the Netherlands) and Prof. Masahiro Matsuura (Meiji University, Japan) will share their insights on the ways to improve science-policy interface and broaden knowledge communities in environmental planning and policy-making context. You are warmly welcome to join the event!

Date: 4 September, 2018, 15:00-18:00

Place: Auditorium Laulujoutsen, 1st floor, The Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Mechelininkatu 34a, Helsinki


Prof. Susan Owens: Trust in Expertise for Environmental Policy

Prof. Esther Turnhout: Democratising environmental expertise: challenges and opportunities at the science-policy-society interface

Prof Masahiro Matsuura: Linking contested expert knowledge to collaborative governance: joint fact-finding


Susan Owens is Emeritus Professor of Environment and Policy and Fellow Emerita of Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She has researched and published widely in the field of environmental governance. Her current projects are concerned with relations between science and politics, and with the role of argument, evidence, ideas and advice in policy formation and change. She has also worked extensively on interpretations of sustainable development in theory and practice, and has theorised connections between environmental planning conflicts (especially those concerned with contentious technologies and infrastructures) and developments in wider domains of public policy.

Esther Turnhout is Full Professor at the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Her research program The Politics of Environmental Knowledge includes research into the different roles experts play at the science policy interface, the political implications of policy relevant knowledge, and the participation of citizens in environmental knowledge making, also known as citizen science. Current research focuses on the UN Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), wildlife management and invasive species, auditing practices in forest management and the production of transparency and traceability in global value chains.

Masahiro Matsuura is Professor at the Graduate School of Governance Studies, Meiji University, Japan. He is also the head of Democracy Design Lab, a non-profit organization for promoting democratic engagements in Japan, and one of the co-founders of Consensus Building in Asia, a network of practitioners and scholars interested in collaborative processes in Asia. His research interests include the theory and practice of consensus building, negotiation and deliberative democracy in the urban and environmental planning sectors.

No registration is needed. If you are on Facebook, you can pick the event to your Facebook calendar.

You can see the video of the event online here.

During the event you can post comments and questions for the lecturers in Twitter with hashtag #corestn. 

COREvents is a series of open discussions, lectures and workshops organised by CORE project, funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland. CORE explores the potential of collaborative approaches to environmental planning and decision-making, with the mission to facilitate a collaborative turn in Finland. Welcome to discuss with us in Twitter with hashtags #corestn, #yhteishallinta and #strateginentutkimus!

COREvents #1 provided international insights in why collaboration and conflict resolution is needed and what makes it work. See the video here!